• October 4, 2023

The Final Pitch, the Philippines’ premier business reality TV show, is back for its ninth season on CNN Philippines, with the theme “Open Edition.”

The new season provides opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs, innovators, and startups from all industries to present their innovative business solutions catering to a diverse panel of investor-judges looking to fund and back their initiatives. 

The show’s creator and host, John Aguilar, said that the Open Edition is poised to be a breakout season for the series as it emphasizes the significance of inclusivity and diversity in the business world, particularly for non-technology startups seeking investment and partnership opportunities and aiming to take their businesses to the next level.

“We have decided to make this an ‘Open Edition’ to be able to give a chance to entrepreneurs of different sizes, industries, and verticals to be able to participate in both the fundraising, mentoring and market reach that The Final Pitch has been able to give the entrepreneurs who have pitched their enterprises on the show. This is also a way for us to democratize access to everything that show stands for, to go beyond tech startups, which have traditionally been the majority,” said Aguilar.

This season’s roster of judges also hail from different industries, bringing diverse perspectives and valuable insights to aspiring entrepreneurs.

The panel of investor-judges includes Rico Bautista, President and CEO of Etiqa Life & General Assurance Philippines; Brian Poe-Llamanzares, President of Pantheon Holdings; Henry Aguda, President and CEO of UnionDigital Bank and Member-convenor of GoDigital Pilipinas; and Robert Scott, Vice President-Hotel Operations of Okada Manila.

For the first time, the show will involve judges from the diplomatic corps with the participation of the Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Ilan Fluss, and the British Ambassador to the Philippines Her Excellency Laure Beaufils. According to Aguilar, the judges will serve as not just potential investors, but as strategic partners to the future contestants.

Aguilar also announced that this season’s mentoring sessions—previously exclusive to the contestants of the show—will be open for the first time to participants outside of the program. The Final Pitch will invite the show’s contestants, students, startups, and other organizations to come together for a one-day learning experience during the filming of the Open House Mentoring Day episode on May 23 at Thames International Business School.

The mentorship program will involve a diversified group of business mentors who will guide the participants. These mentors include Dean Bernales, Founder & CEO of Uniquecorn Strategies; Chris Peralta, Founder of Silicon Valley HQ; Vince Golangco, CEO & Founder of When in Manila; Atty. Marlon Valderama, founder and CEO of LexMeet; Joel Santos, President of Thames International Business School; and Paolo Rentero, Co-Founder of TechShake.

Aguilar will likewise give a pitching masterclass based on his bestselling book The Art and Science of the Pitch. 

To join The Final Pitch, fill out and submit an online entry form. The deadline for submission of applications is May 13.

Meanwhile, participants who wish to join the May 23 Open House Mentoring Day can register here.

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